Common mistakes to avoid when choosing your photographer
Choosing your photographer is definitely one of the ‘big’ things on your wedding to-do list. Your photographer will capture those images that tell the story of your wedding day and stay with you for the rest of your lives. There’s a lot of advice out there to help you when you’re researching photographer but there are still a few points that can catch couples unawares. To help you plan like a pro, here are the common mistakes to avoid when choosing your wedding photographer:
- Ignoring your budget – there’s no denying it, wedding photography can be expensive and it can eat into your wedding budget. You know how much you can (or want to) afford for your wedding photography so keep this in mind as you research and don’t spend too long looking at photographers who are way above your budget unless you then want to have to cut back in other areas to be able to afford the photographer of your dreams. It’s easy to book, pay your deposit and just say ‘we’ll find the money’ but this can cause you a LOT of added stress later on.
- Rushing your decision – yes, photographers get booked up years in advance but this doesn’t mean that you have to book yours within days of getting engaged. Take your time to do your research and then you know that when you do book, you’ve done everything you need to do and can be confident in your decision.
- Not checking your photographer out – always check your photographer out. Take a good look through their social feeds, Google their names, search for their work on blogs and online, talk to past clients if you want to. The more reassurance that you can get now, the happier you can be.
- Assuming what/who you’ll get – whilst most photographers outline their packages online or in their brochures, assuming anything can be dangerous. If you’re not sure that your photographer will be there to capture your fireworks or exit at the end of the night, ask. If you’re not sure what size album is included, ask. Don’t assume anything – it’s always best to ask and set your mind at rest.
- Giving your friend the role – unless the friend in question is actually a wedding photographer, don’t ask them to photograph your big day. Wedding photography is a skill and just expecting anyone with a DSLR to be able to do the job and give you beautiful images just isn’t realistic. It’s also a lot to ask of any friend so stick with the professionals, for everyone’s sakes!
- Focussing on quantity, not quality – when you’re comparing photography packages, it’s easy to look at the number of images that you’ll receive or the hours of coverage that you’ll get and use those things to determine which photographer is ‘better’ for you. Yes, you want to feel that you’re getting value for money but you also want the best quality too. You won’t be displaying 400 images in your house after the wedding but you will pick our images of superb quality to showcase. Think quality, not quantity.
- Signing on the dotted line without reading terms and conditions – always ALWAYS read the terms and conditions before you sign. Photographers aren’t trying to catch you out with tricky clauses and sneaky points but there will be points in there that you need to know about. Read the terms and conditions, question anything you’re not sure about and only sign when you’re happy with what’s there.
- Not viewing complete weddings – photographers will always pick out their best images to use on their websites and social feeds because they curate their online presence just like you to. You absolutely should ask to view a couple of complete weddings before you book so that you’re happy with the way that they cover an entire wedding day because you’ll receive an entire wedding, not just one or two exceptional shots.
- Forgetting to discuss the Plan B – there always needs to be a Plan B when it comes to weddings. Where will you take your photographs if the weather isn’t great? What happens if your photographer is ill? Ask these questions at the outset and then you can be sure that everything is in hand.
- Ignoring your gut reactions – your gut is a powerful thing and you often know whether or not you want to work with someone from the first time you contact them. Those gut reactions are important. You need to get on with your photographer, you need to feel comfortable around them and you need to trust them. If you don’t click, don’t ignore that feeling because it can be hard to get past that and your feelings can sour your relationship.
In short – talk to potential photographers, ask questions and make sure you like your photographer before you book. Then you can relax and enjoy the build-up to your wedding day.
Until next time,